Isabel Oli played a sea princess in the GMA-7 telefantasya Atlantika. In this fashion spread, with her enchanting features framed by the flowers in her hair, she has been transformed into a forest nymph.
Maria Olivia S. Daytia was a teenaged fashion model in her native Cebu City when she decided to move to Manila. It didn't take long for her to land a continuing role in a series of TV commercials for Max's restaurant, in which she played Piolo Pascual's childhood sweetheart, Isabel. Showbiz soon opened its doors to her.
Rechristened Isabel Oli, she won leading roles in popular teleseryes, as well as a plum role in the hit movie Moments of Love. But though she's more into acting now, she says she has not turned her back on commercial modeling.
"I love both," Isabel says. "Modeling kasi is like acting rin, e, pero light lang."
She's also an active member of the Victory Christian Fellowship, along with her boyfriend, Paolo Contis, whom she met on the set of Atlantika. The couple, who are planning to join the church's mission work in Malaysia, have been focusing on their individual careers lately, sparking rumors of a breakup.
"Sobrang busy lang talaga kami," Isabel explains, denying the rumors. "And right now, parang ini-enjoy muna namin 'yong ganito kami. Last year naman kasi, lagi kaming magkasama sa taping ng Atlantika. Ngayon parang go with the flow muna, kasi—hello!—hindi natin alam kung next year may trabaho pa tayo."